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Human Rights Book Club



The Burgess Boys

By Elizabeth Strout

May 8, 2014

12:00 - 1:00 PM  

The Advocates for Human Rights, 330 2nd Avenue S, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Brothers Jim and Bob Burgess, and sister Susan, are mired in a childhood trauma: when he was four, Bob unwittingly released the parking brake on the family car, which ran over their father and killed him. Originally from small Shirley Falls, Maine, the Burgess brothers have long since fled to vastly disparate lives as New York City attorneys. Egoistic Jim is a famous big shot with a corporate firm. Self-effacing Bob leads a more low-profile career with Legal Aid. High-strung Susan calls them home to fix a family crisis: her son stands accused of a possible hate crime against the small town’s improbable Somali population. The siblings’ varying responses to the crisis illuminate their sheer differences while also recalling their shared upbringing, forcing them finally to deal with their family history.


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See the 2014 Book List

For ideas for your own book club, also take a look at our book lists and discussion guides from previous years.

For questions or suggestions, please contact Sarah Herder at or 612-746-4691.